CU-Boulder teaches students about eco-social justice

The University of Colorado, Boulder is promoting student leadership in “eco-social justice,” recently holding an event on “de-colonizing the environment.”

The December 7 program, titled “Multi-Cultural Leadership on Eco-Social Justice,” was hosted by the university’s “Cultural Unity & Engagement Center,” which advertised that it would include “interactive activities, a presentation, and dialogue” about environmentalism.

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In addition to the planned activities, the official description of the event also touts the school’s “Eco-Social Justice Leadership Certificate Program,” a project that was started in 2014.

“The Eco-Social Justice Leadership program empowers student learning with the knowledge and skills to advance both sustainability and social justice efforts,” the website for the initiative states. “The purpose of this program is to illuminate the direct correlation of sustainability and social justice work which, in turn, creates an opportunity for student leadership and action surrounding this work on CU campus and beyond.”

According to the university, the program is designed to educate students about environmental justice, “explore social identities,” develop “creative solutions and practical plans for actions engaging the community,” and more.

“The program will build a community of change agents, explore questions of identity and place, heritage and inheritance, root causes of the global unravelling, and create community solutions,” the university states. “We will examine individual actions and identities as well as global institutions and world views. We will also meet with and learn from practitioners in the field.”

When registering for the program, students are informed that the collective “will meet weekly until April except for school holidays” and are asked to provide information about their views and interest in the initiative.

[RELATED: Teachers learn to use math as Trojan horse for social justice]

The Cultural Unity & Engagement Center also hosts a variety of other programs, “with special focus given to underrepresented populations on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.”

In its mission statement, the center p

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University offers up to 1 000 for social justice activism

The University of Alaska, Anchorage’s Diversity Action Council will soon award successful applicants for its “Student Diversity Award” up to $1,000 toward their tuition.

Successful applicants must demonstrate that they “significantly contribute to enhancing diversity” by either “increasing visibility of diverse people,” “creating a welcoming environment,” or “representing diverse student voices through advocacy and participation” in on-campus student groups.

[RELATED: UMich offers free room and board to promote social justice]

To apply, students must answer three essay questions describing how they meet the above criteria, while describing how they “advance social justice and diversity within the larger community.”

On an academic level, applicants must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, show “satisfactory academic progress,” and be admitted to a certificate or degree program at the school.

Dr. Andre Thorn, director of the multicultural center, told Campus Reform that the award generally goes to those who are “engaged in the notion of diversity and inclusion” and can “infuse campus with diverse perspectives,” though he declined to disclose how much money the university allocates for the award.

[RELATED: Students get $11/hour to ‘advance social justice and diversity’]

According to the school’s website, however, the university gave the award to 14 students in 2015, meaning that as much as $14,000 was invested in the scholarship.

Notable past winners include former president of the campus’ Black Student Union, Andrew Freed II, who raised fund to bring films such as “Dear White People” to campus.

"No demographic is chosen over another for the award,” Thorn told Campus Reform, saying selection is “dependent on the quality of the application.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @brooks_riess

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